T Nation

Type 1 Dopamine Precursor Supplements?

Hey Thib,

For Type 1 athletes, do you recommend the use of dopamine stimulating supplements such as Mucuna Pruriens to improve the serotonin to dopamine ratio?

For 1B yes, for 1A no.

Originally my evaluation was that both 1A and 1Bs had low dopamine BUT where super sensitive to it. Which means that dopamine-boosting supplements would work great.

But after more research I found that 1A are “dopamine dominant” not because of a low level/super sensitivity to dopamine but rather because of a slow COMT enzyme, poor methylation and slow MAO enzyme. Which means that when they release dopamine and adrenaline it stays elevated for a super long time. For them, using dopamine-boosting supplement might do more harm than good and could lead to faster burnout.

Furthermore understand that (and this is super important in general) when you supplement to increase dopamine you will, as a side-effect, lower serotonin. Not a huge deal for the 1Bs who normally have plenty of it, but 1As have lower serotonin so it could be really bad.

That makes heaps of sense Thib, thankyou.

So as a Type A myself, that would also be the case for using Tyrosine as a supplement, good to know.

I think I’ll be buying both the full program and diet! Cheers man

Don’t buy the diet. I need to change it. It was written when my theory was that 1A needed more dopamine.

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1A could use tyrosine or dopamine boosting supplement like once or twice per week on very big workout days. BUT they should supplement for serotonine (L-tryptophan) the other days. In fact, 1As, like 3s will do great by supplementing for serotonin and also SAM-E (in the majority of cases). 1As and 3 often need methylation support.

if type 1a have high dopamine, then why he crashes so easily form high volume workout?

High volume = high cortisol
High cortisol = increases adrenaline (increases conversion of noradrenaline to adrenaline)

Since 1A already have high adrenaline most of the time, increasing it too much for too long will desensitize the beta-adrenergic receptors, leading to what we often call “CNS fatigue”.

BTW 1A don’t have high dopamine… in the sense that it’s not that they produce a lot of it, it’s that when they produce it they cannot break it down rapidly so it (and adrenaline) stays high for a long time.

Furthermore, if your serotonin levels are low (like with a 1A) and you have high or even a moderate amount of dopamine, the body will increase the conversion of dopamine to adrenaline. So the 1A can burn out easily by dowregulating the beta-adrenergic receptors (they stop responding to your own adrenaline) and they can deplete dopamine by overproducing adrenaline.

Here’s a tough one Thib - as a Type 1a with anxiety and using an SSRI (escitalopram to be precise) to manage anxiety, does this change things? Is is likely that my anxiety and being a Type 1a are related?

Totally understand this is a more medical question so if you can’t or refuse to answer, no sweat.

It could. Anxiety is nothing more than the nervous system firing too fast for your to control it.

Adrenaline, dopamine and (to some extent) glutamate speed your brain activity up while serotonin and GABA slow it down.

SSRIs decrease the reuptake of serotonin, meaning that what you produce stays active for longer, effectively increasing your serotonin levels.

1A have high adrenaline, high dopamine because they cannot break them down or degrade them rapidly. They also have low serotonin. That is something that is conductive to anxiety. What normally protects them is their high GABA level. But if for some reason your GABA levels decreased, you might indeed become more prone to anxiety as a 1A.

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Coach, I’m curious, with acetylcholine dominante individuals Poliquin observed that,

An overtrained acetylcholine dominant athlete will complain of tendon pain .

and that balanced individuals would catch a cold when overtrained but I’ve only just started reading his material and have yet to read anything about what happens to the dopamine dominant individuals but I acknowledge I may just not have read it yet - i.e., that the material exists already.

Have you observed the same things?

Well the tendon pain for acetylcholine athletes make sense (and I’ve noticed it to some extent) but the reason is not anything mythical or obscure: individuals with a high acetylcholine level have a more effective stretch reflex and tend to use the rebound a lot more to lift the weight. They also instinctively go faster during the eccentric and rely more on acceleration to lift the weight. All of that puts a greater stress on the tendons.

As for the cold. I would say that it’s the case with pretty much everybody under chronically elevated cortisol levels situation (cortisol inhibits the immune system).

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If rhodiola prolongs the duration of dopamine, would 1As have to use rhodiola sparingly because otherwise their dopamine and adrenaline may stay elevated for too long? Would rhodiola still be a good supplement for 1Bs who can clear dopamine and adrenaline quickly? Thank you.

Hi coach!

You talked before about type 2A’s becoming 2B’s under stress. Do you think the other route is possible too? That 2A’s can’t degrade dopamine and/or adrenaline for some reason? And because of that tend to do more strength work with low volume and low cortisol release?

My experience with rhodiola and 1As is that they seem to respond well to it because rhodola balances dopamine and serotonin. I’m honestly not yet comfortable enough to discuss what I consider a very complex supplements matter. I have not researched it enough yet. Truth be told, I’m a training guys first, a nutrition guy a distant second and a supplement guy third. Meaning that supplements is the last thing I will research, especially the less commonly used compounds.

That means GABA cannot bring them back to optimum performance level. If GABA is depleted, will they be like 2B with low serotonin levels?

Doubt it in that 1As will rarely have high glutamate even when GABA levels are low. So they will lack the empathy and “human touch” that 2Bs have. When GABA gets depleted in a 1A they will actually look more like type 3s. In fact one thing you’ll notice with a burned out 1A is that they don’t talk all the time anymore.

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a little marginally, I guess Cristiano Ronaldo is 1A and Lionel Messi is 1B. What do you think about this?

Thank you for your response! My 1A friend will be happy to hear that and I find rhodiola helps as a 1B. I previously listened to all your appearances on AdapNation including the supplement one.

Also I’m excited about all the updates that have been happening to neurotyping including this. The system just keeps getting better and better!

I don’t really watch soccer. But I would say that most of the high skill players are 1B. Ronaldo has a crazy vertical… a 1A would be more a guy like Vinny Jones

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Great coach, I have read a lot of your posts and your answers on this forum. Can you describe in detail the difference between GABA and Serotonin in slowing down the nervous system, about the “on or off” state when a person has GABA at a high level but low Serotonin?